How Could You See a Child Being Sexually Abused and Not Intervene?
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I just recently wrote a piece called “A Reasoned Approach,” which was funded though the Ms. Foundation. What we talked about is that because we have moved more and more toward monsterizing the offender, it’s actually limiting our ability to prevent child sexual abuse. The more we make sex offenders into monsters, the less likely we are able to see behaviors in people we love that give us concern.
My first private assumption upon hearing the details of the timeline was that McQueary was worried about the ramifications reporting would have on him and his future career prospects — but theoretically it could be that it took him time to understand this shocking image he was seeing?
I think anybody who would walk in and see their hero doing some monstrous act would have a hard time understanding just what was going on.
Do we know anything about witnesses in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals, people who didn’t come forward because of the tremendous power that was at play?
We don’t have any research on that, but just think about how long the sexual abuse was going on within the Catholic Church and how recently the scandals emerged. It really was only after there was a critical mass of victims willing to confront that hierarchy. It really is very hard within a place where there’s a strong hierarchy for people to challenge that and to know what to do.
And because in our country there is such an incredible punitive response, you also know that by even making an accusation against somebody, you can ruin their reputation, and their life.